Sean Cavanagh -- Beta testing is one of the most basic steps on the path to getting education products and ideas into the classroom—and, researchers and developers say, one of the trickiest to get right. As applied to K-12, the term generally refers to the early stage of testing almost any product in schools—a game, an assessment, a software package, a personal computer—and then refining it, based on how well it works.
Sarah D. Sparks -- Top researchers studying new “value added” or “growth index” models for measuring a teacher’s contribution to student achievement completely agree on one thing: These methods should be used in staff-evaluation systems with more caution than they have been so far.
Students with disabilities were largely excluded from state testing programs before changes to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act in 1997 and the 2001 No Child Left Behind law. A new report looks at how many schools were held accountable for the performance of students with disabilities when it comes to state tests. It shows that some of the fears about students with disabilities dragging down the performance of a school under the No Child Left Behind law weren't realized.
The Education Department's push to elevate the role of rigorous research in public education could become one of the most important legacies of the No Child Left Behind era for schools in the Washington area and nationwide.